Saturday, April 30, 2011

Krishna T-shirts! ys pd

Welcome to Krishna T-shirts! Please let us know which design you want (see the link above for the designs we have so far), and specify the size you want, i.e small, medium or large. The shirts are white with color printing on the front. I have some designs and sizes in stock, but ones that are not in stock take about 5 days for me to get printed. The price is $25 usd and shipping is extra, $5 shipping for usa. If you want to order please send me and e-mail at, then I will send you a Pay Pal invoice by e-mail. Thanks! ys pd   

"God Brother Council" [GBC] writes a letter. (ISKCON) ys pd

From: GBC Central Committee and All Related Ministries
To: All ISKCON Centers and Prabhupada's disciples
April 30, 2011

Dear Prabhus,

We fall at your feet and beg you to accept our apologies for our innumerable offenses committed towards each one of you. Over the forty-three years since Srila Prabhupada's departure, our collective body the GBC has been more than willing to accept the respectful obeisances humbly offered by each of you on thousands of occasions. On occasion we have even returned the act with some show of pompous sentiment. But this time we mean it. We know that we must offer each one of you our respectful obeisances with whatever genuine sincerity we are capable of mustering. After all, no one is a leader unless he has someone to lead. Therefore your position in ISKCON is just as important as is ours. We cannot exist without you. Krishna consciousness is absolute and therefore it has been our great offense to consider ourselves above you.

Rather than acting in a courteous manner, we have conducted ourselves as tyrants blinded by a false sense of power. But power over who or what? We have been very concerned about our status, our profiles and our neatly ironed dhotis, but have cared not a bit for any of you. We have been the unfortunate architects of devastating policies that have literally decimated the ranks of the Hare Krishna Movement. Our blunders have become all too obvious and our grave mistakes can no longer be swept under our silken carpets. We have become the laughing stock of innumerable websites and cartoons due to our base pomposity. Our error was to judge the success of ISKCON by the Society's accumulation of bank balances, buildings and real estate, and to a lesser extent an impersonal head count. We have finally come to our senses and have realized that a successful Society means having spiritually prosperous devotees who are each cared for properly. We fall at your feet with a sincere hope that each one you exalted mahatmas will forgive us for treating you like disposable rubbish as we have in the past.

Initially, it was due to our GBC collective propagation of brainless Zonalism that many of you would no longer feel a part of a movement you had spent years sacrificing your lives for. And who could blame you for feeling disenfranchised? An acarya must be an acarya throughout every corner of the universe; no spiritual leader can be limited to a whimsically-drawn region. One who considers himself an acarya only within the boundaries of a certain zone is a ludicrous fraud and cannot by definition be an acarya. Each one of you mahatmas quickly saw through our ruse of posing ordinary men as paramhamsas. You were not fooled by our motivated misuse of the philosophy of Krishna consciousness. But we could not even see what an insane mockery we had created by our King Paundraka-like positions because we were blinded by avarice and pride. Therefore, guided by the Supreme Lord and your good common sense, you intelligently ran from us as one quickly departs a field of stool.

We who are factually unqualified to be the servants of your servant's servant unceremoniously dismissed each of you, although you were accepted as exalted sudurlabha mahatmas by Srila Prabhupada himself. We chased you out the door, and along with you went your valuable services, which were so much appreciated by the Founder-Acarya. As soon as you exalted devotees abandoned us, street sankirtan also closed down. We had mistreated each and every one of you because we felt it was necessary to promote ourselves all the way to top by being heartless bullies. We do not know how to make it up to you, but we beg you Vaishnavas to give us the chance.

We have not set any kind of admirable example by personally joining the sankirtan parties of book distributors, as Srila Prabhupada wished. In this way we have purposefully given the impression by our very example that ordinary management is superior to the performance of Sri Chaitanya's sankirtan yagna. We have played the "I'm too important" charade when it came to street preaching. But even if we really were too occupied and needed to remain behind in our exclusive offices, then we should have at least answered your letters. This we also did not do. Even when we were arrogantly ensconced at our fancy desks we did not preach, though your unanswered letters gave us every opportunity to serve Srila Prabhupada by glorifying his message among our fellow devotees. But now the joke is on us and we realize that we have acted like a pack of fools.

One by one, the false acaryas who arose from within our dubious ranks came tumbling down. Like gamblers at the racetrack who bet on the wrong horse only to see his money lost, we watched them fall like dead birds from the sky on a scorching day. It is sure and certain that each and every one of us impelled by a fate we have created will follow Jayatirtha or Hansadutta or Rameswar to our own chopping blocks of destiny if you do not bless us by accepting our apologies here and now.

True, some of those hot air balloon acaryas we rubber-stamped still hang around like mad men and guilt-ridden perverts, and we are sorry for that, too. We know that these walking embarrassments who are mere surviving fossils of a despotic era will doubtlessly soon be decapitated by their own bad karmas. You are not to blame because the destruction of these false prophets is due to their own crimes against each of you and most of all, against Srila Prabhupada. We freely admit our cowardliness for not having the gumption to escort these terrible liabilities in the form of disgraced vomit-eating sannyasis like Vishnupada and Gurupad out the rear door, as we did to you.

It is our grave misfortune that we never gave any heed to the instructions of Mahaprabhu in His Sri Sikshastaka, although we made a big show of officiously reciting His verses in the temples. We posed as leaders, but had none of the qualities of leadership because a leader leads people and does not lead material assets. It is quite evident why Mahaprabhu left behind only eight verses; yet even these eight holy verses of simple and pure instruction are too much for our covetous, dull brains to understand. Rather than heed the teachings of Lord Chaitanya, we propagated arrogance and anger instead of love; intimidation instead of caring instruction; pompousness instead of humility. We even had the audacity to stand between yourselves and Srila Prabhupada, your eternal spiritual master unto whom you have tried your level best to dedicate your lives. We thought of you as liabilities, when we should have begged you for support and input in an atmosphere of loving trust a way that would have pleased Srila Prabhupada.

Then, once we had unceremoniously escorted each of you to the door, we attempted to fill the void created by the exit of so many devoted Godbrothers and Godsisters with unqualified yes-men and salaried flatterers posing as our faithful disciples. We knew that they were as motivated as we ourselves, because who else could be attracted to us, considering our arrogance? We based their qualifications upon college credentials, material talents, items they donated, their job position, or anything else beside a mood of full loving surrender. We actually had as little care for the spiritual well-being of our sycophants as we showed for you. The hoax of symbiotic relationships masked by a veneer of service attitude lasted for a few years. So we found big donors to pay for our trips to Mayapur and Bombay every six months and declared ISKCON a Hindu religion. Since our personal desires and ego-gratification were met, we by and large abandoned the notion of sankirtan and book distribution and gave support to Gurukuli Melas.

We confess that we have created a cheap following by bribing newcomers with initiations and artificial positions. Through flattery, we have stooped to create a "youth movement" out of middle-aged twenty-five and thirty-year olds, a "movement within a movement" that by our misguided blessings feels exempt from following most of the regulative principles. We have awarded ministerial posts and even the danda of renunciation to those who could praise us most adroitly. We have chosen bootlicking minions to perform our dirty work for us so that we need not directly soil our hands when issuing orders of probation. In this way we have posed as pure devotees, yet have fooled no one but our unfortunate selves.

By encouraging unqualified men in the dress of renunciates, we barred genuinely qualified preachers from accepting the sannyasa ashram. We thereby curtailed the preaching of Bhagavad-gita As It Is all over the world. Rather than preachers of Krishna consciousness, we have emerged as the enemies of Krishna consciousness. We understand now that Srila Prabhupada wasn't talking about some brahmachary who overeats or a brahmacharini who wants to get married when he mentioned that demons were infiltrating his temples. No, His Divine Grace was talking about motivated persons at the top like us, who seek to hijack the Society for their own personal gain. We gladly showed each one of you the door when you objected to our minimization of Srila Prabhupada and before we get what we deserve, we beg your pardon.

We have also realized that Srila Prabhupada's criticism of his avaricious Godbrothers was meant for us. We fit exactly the following description from CC Adi 12.8: "The members of the self-appointed acharya's party who occupied the property of the Gaudiya Matha are satisfied, but they could make no progress in preaching. Therefore by the result of their actions one should know that they are asara, or useless." We useless fools and rascals are the best example of a missed opportunity and this is a great cause of regret to each one of us. But here and now we do not wish to miss this opportunity to express our regrets for our heedless actions.

We allowed the Bhaktivedanta Institute to become a jet-setting dancing circus with Srila Shripada advocating his own message of "world peace." Defeated by the Maya of college degrees, we abandoned preaching to the materialistic scientists upon whom we used to fawn all over. Not that our gala conferences with Nobel Laureates were ever a success. We thoughtlessly spent the money you collected and did not make one devotee at those Bhaktivedanta Institute conferences. Our "preaching" at such conferences went only so far as we could flatter demons who came over for their free lunch. The world knows what a gang of science-worshipping blockheads we are, and now we truly regret our stupidity.

Even our own lap dogs were laughing at us, albeit silently, because their positions were based upon keeping us pleased, fat and well fed. We have covered up our spiritual crimes by making a show of spineless New Age festivals that no self-respecting Mayavadi would even attend. We have posed as great humanitarians by flashing around the money of others, though our charade only fooled ourselves. We have a Sannyasa Minister who dresses in yoga clothes and teaches yoga to ladies, while denying qualified candidates entry into the fourth order. We encouraged an ordinary buffoon on our body to take the name 'Acharyadeva' and had his name gold-stamped on the cover of Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavatam project.

We sponsor interfaith conferences at Lord Chaitanya's birthplace and never preach the essence of Gaudiya Vaishnavism to the interfaith freeloaders who show up. We have destroyed the grihasta ashram and varnashram dharma with it by arranging forced marriages that did not have a prayer of lasting a few months. We have turned the Lord's temples into havens for green card beggars from India with bed bugs. We do not know where we will be sent for our sins, but before we are dragged off to our unwholesome destinies, we hope we can obtain your kind forgiveness.

How can we make it up to each one of you? There is no way, and we are so terribly sorry for our offences. We have misled the entire movement of Mahaprabhu by misleading the individual members of this movement. The only reason that sankirtan survives at all today is because of the divine blessings of Srila Prabhupada and the previous Sampradaya Acaryas. Considering our awful track record we do not deserve any credit for spreading Krishna consciousness, though we have seized every opportunity to purloin the false tinseled glory.

After condemning each of you to a life without devotee association, we tried to fool the public at large that we are devoted sages by putting on Pope-like airs befitting altar boys, but we ourselves have been proven to be the greatest fools. Finally we have looked into the mirror and our bleak reflection is not a pretty one. History will either laugh at our folly or condemn us as a band of black-hearted rascals as we deserve, but we will not be remembered as pure devotees, even as we commission our own samadhis. We have been a band of hypocrites of the first order and now that we are nearing death's door, we find that we have become lost in a world of remorse.

The creation of the Narayana Maharaja faction of several thousand devotees which split ISKCON in two was strictly caused by us. Had we cared for you properly, as was our sworn duty to Srila Prabhupada, not a single one of you would have felt impelled to leave our association. We created the worldwide Gaudiya Math sanghas that grew out of ISKCON in two ways. First, we set the unfortunate example by being the first to run to the members of Gaudiya Math in defiance of Srila Prabhupada's instructions. We went straight to them to find out how to strengthen our positions as trumped up and hopeful Zonal Acaryas, when actually they, too, were ridiculing us behind our backs. We opportunistically latched onto whatever instructions from the Gaudiya Math we found convenient towards setting up our tiny dictatorships. Secondly, we caused further defection to the Narayana camp through cold-hearted and uncompassionate policies that caused the mass exodus of whatever Prabhupada disciples remained. The talented artist, Srimati Jadurani devi had been personally trained in preaching by Srila Prabhupada. So we had her and others like Kulashekhar severely beaten when she truthfully criticized our divisive Zonalistic policy. As a woman needing shelter, she took her preaching talent to B.V. Narayana Maharaja and demonstrated to us what a bunch of inept and unlettered fools we all are. Thousands followed her example, which we could have prevented if we had heeded her wise counsel. But we did not care for truth, we cared for false positions.

It is we who are also directly and indirectly responsible for the ascent of Rtvik-ism. Though we may have opposed it, we caused it. Had we not instituted policies that allowed incompetent men to posture and parade around as acaryas, it is safe to say that Rtvik-ism would never have raised its hollow head. We are therefore sending copies of this letter to all Gaudiya Math centers as well as to the Rtvik temples to beg forgiveness of those members as well. We hope that this letter will be displayed prominently in each of those centers, as in each and every ISKCON temple where even casual guests can read it.

History verifies that those who tried to criticize our absolute dictatorship were ostracized, beaten or even murdered. Like potentates sitting above the law, we have never bothered to answer any charges leveled against us. Members of the GBC who were involved in heinous crimes like the murder of Sulocana das Prabhu now enjoy a sort of immunity from prosecution due to their money, power and influence. We have squandered the Society's funds on lawsuits and have paid hush money to abused children when they grew to age. All the while we sheltered the abusers of children; criminal pedophiles that still remain skulking within the shadows of our ranks to this day. When dissidents from among our own private politburo were ever to arise, we were quick to buy off their silence with fantastic sums of money. In this way we have sent our fellow cronies like Harikesa off to buy new houses in fringe communities with our blessings. We have behaved as though we were members of an exclusive country club with a set of rules that applies to us and not to you.

We have severely penalized devotees whose only crime was to offer counsel when our activities were obviously in opposition to the orders of Srila Prabhupada. We have clung onto our posts like petty tyrants and little Ravanas, even when our GBC position was meant to be a revolving one, elected by the votes of temple presidents. We decimated temples by destroying local management, when we should have left local hands-on decisions to the temple presidents. We have neglected to see if the devotees in the temples are chanting their prescribed rounds, are attending the morning programme or are suitably engaged, each according to his or her propensity. On the other side of the coin, we have purposely allowed some other temples to crumble when we could have stepped in and offered support. We have commissioned public relations flatterers to glorify us on ISKCON websites like Dandavats and ISKCON News, which perpetuate our myth of infallibility. We have thus placed self-centered party politics above spiritual management. We have even made unauthorized changes to Srila Prabhupada's writings, setting the worst conceivable precedent and encouragement for future rascal editors to arise. We cannot imagine what the future will hold for us, but here at your feet, all we beg for now is your kind forgiveness.

In a vainglorious attempt to fool you with an appearance of humility towards those whose spiritual lives we have ruined, we have tried to offer free rooms to our Godbrothers and sisters at the Mayapur festival, a free seat on the tour bus, or a page in the special Vyasa Puja books. We are supporting old age homes and hospices for dying Prabhus without addressing the problem of how we helped kill your spiritual lives along your way to old age. We have tried to renovate our Kamsa-like image by offering hundreds of thousands of free plates of food daily to Delhi school children. But we did not care when many deathly ill or injured Godbrothers were hospitalized, or even when innocent Godbrothers were jailed for years on end for the crime of preaching Krishna consciousness. We never lifted a finger to help our suffering Prabhus; we merrily left them to rot or die. We are guilty of having thrown Prabhupada's disciples to the winds without lifting a finger, while we feasted like Maharajas off giant plates. Is there any atonement in all the three worlds for our crimes?

We have allowed the offensive publication of mayavada literature by one of the very editors of Back to Godhead, and have supported the glorification of Mayavadis in publications of the BBT. We publish open contradictions of Srila Prabhupada on the site Dandavats. We have allowed criticism of the Founder-Acarya to raise its ugly head in ISKCON ashrams. We dance on YouTube videos with Mayavadis, while the genuine yuga dharma of sankirtan has been curtailed in every town and village. Everyone knows about our faults, and we can live in denial no longer. Now it is high time we came forward to face the music at your lotus feet.

With such a bleak portfolio behind us, how can we ever talk of liberation in the Supreme? Sinners like us who have defiled Srila Prabhupada's true servants can never hope for going back to home, back to Godhead. We hope that you will print out this letter and place it in every temple so that others can realize that we have finally come to our senses. As far as rectifying our innumerable grievous offenses, please let us know how we can make it up to each one of you. Death grows more immanent by the day. We close by placing our heads at the dust of your lotus feet, dear Prabhus.

Your humble servants,

NB: This letter, which reflects a far better understanding of Krishna consciousness than what we have seen amongst the GBC in the 44 years since the departure of Srila Prabhupada, has been prepared by the God Brother Council. It was not written by the Governing Body Committee of ISKCON.

Falling down messiahs conundrum (ISKCON) ys pd

Abhaya Charanaravinda: "But the difficulty is that our GBC men are falling victim to maya. Today I trust this GBC and tomorrow he will fall down. That is the difficulty. If the GBC men are so flickering then what to speak of the others. Unless this problem is solved whatever we may resolve it will not be very useful." (Srila Prabhupada Letter, December 16th, 1974) They have turned iskcon into a bogus guru making circus of fools and rascals!

PADA: OK they are blooping into maya left, right and center, so the GBC appoints themselves as acharyas, of course fools from the Gaudiya Matha also endorse them as acharyas. ys pd

Srila Prabhupada: Srila Prabhupada is the only guru of ISKCON, and until we follow this, the chaos and madness will continue in ISKCON until there is nothing left of the institution. Already thousands of devotees have left, and mostly it's only blind followers and unintelligent people who are still die-hard ISKCON guru fanatics and followers.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Nice preaching story (ISKCON) ys pd

Bhaktin Carol: I was outside Foodtown in the Mt. Eden section of Auckland. I had three "Journey of Self-discovery's" in my bag. A short man in his 60s with a long white beard called out to me as he emerged from the supermarket's sliding doors: "Got the Bhagavad-gita?" I told him "Sure! I've got a few copies in my car," and began accompanying him to the car, which was parked a few yards from the entrance. As we walked he asked whether the Gita I was going to show him was the original one, unchanged.... He wanted the Gita exactly as Prabhupada had translated it. Noticing the man's age and the way he spoke, I asked him if he was affiliated with ISKCON from Prabhupada's days.

"Yes, I lived in a temple in Australia and also one they had in this area. In fact, we used to go on morning walks with Prabhupada in a park nearby here." The man then imitated Prabhupada walking with long strides and head held high, just as we see on the videos.

"We were young boys and girls, but we always struggled to keep up with him." He became emotional remembering his days with Prabhupada. He explained to me he'd been desiring to get a copy of the "Bhagavad-gita As It Is" for a while, since he'd lost his copy but hadn't found a replacement till now.
He thought it was very magnificent that we had met today, as Prabhupada had come to him the night before in a dream. The man lifted his arms and danced a few steps of "the swami step." While he danced and remembered his dream, more tears came to his eyes. Then he brought his hands down and opened the Gita, saying that Prabhupada's purports always confirmed to him that this knowledge is the truth.

Then the man quickly thanked me for my time and, clutching the Gita, left. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Your servant,
Gokula Lila dd

Kirtan Home Program in Honolulu Hawaii (ISKCON)

Location: ‎2730A Lowrey Ave Honolulu, HI 96822
Time: ‎6:30PM Friday, April 29th

Bogus guru Sudarsana dasa (ISKCON)

Yasodanandan dasa speaks on ritvik issue (ISKCON)

Song About Lord Chaitanya (ISKCON) ys pd

The living guru program cheer leader speaks up (ISKCON) ys pd

  • Madan Gopal
    did I miss anything???!!! :)
    I'm sure this has been presented before and that those who follow ritvik have some explanation to counter (not sure what), but I just like to think of Prabhupada's bold vision from this letter to Hansadutta 12/...3/68.
    "Those possessing the title of Bhaktivedanta will be allowed to initiate disciples. Maybe by '75, all of my disciples will be allowed to initiate and increase the numbers of the generations." AWESOME!
    See More
    51 minutes ago ·

  • Tim Lee
    Dear Madan gopal, this program you mention was never implemented. In addition, since no one can be a diksha guru while his guru is still alive, he was saying these people after 1975 would be initiating on his behalf (as ritviks). In additio...n, he never implemented any diksha guru program whatsoever, there is no record of that. In addition, the diksha guru program of voting in 230 people since 1977 and having less than 80 remaining in 2010 because the rest blooped, is not found in our tradition. Please show me chapter and verse where it is stated that most of the time acharyas bloop? ys pdSee More
    16 minutes ago ·

  • Madan Gopal
    I KNEW you'd have an answer Puranjana!
    "Every student is expected to become acharya. Acharya means one who knows the scriptural injunctions and follows them practically in life, and teaches them to his disciples. I have given you sannyas wit...h the great hope that in my absence you will preach the cult throughout the world and thus become recognized by Krishna as the most sincere servants of the Lord... Keep training up very rigidly and then you are bonafide guru, and you can accept disciples on the same principle. But as matter of etiquette it is the custom that during the lifetime of your spiritual master you bring the prospective disciples to him, and in his absence or disappearance you can accept disciples without limitation. THIS IS THE LAW OF DISCIPLIC SUCCESSION. I want to see my disciples become bona-fide spiritual masters and spread Krishna Consciousness very widely. That will make me and Krishna very happy." - letter to Tusta Krsna Swami 12/2/75See More
    12 minutes ago ·

  • Tim Lee Dear Madan gopal, Yes every kindergarten child is expected to become a brain surgeon, so Madan Gopal gives these children scalpels and says, operate away! Hah hah! Oh this is great, after me and Sulochana were told by Ramesvara we would be "dead meat on a hook" if we published the letters of Srila Prabhupada, you are now quoting the letters we published? No one would be quoting these letters at all if we had not bribed the archives to get a microfiche copy in 1984. So you guys kill one of us for publishing, and now, you are quoting the letters? Tusta Krishna and Siddhaswarupa were kicked out of ISKCON in 1976 by Srila Prabhupada for promoting sahajiya programs, and now you are saying, we should make the sahajiyas into gurus? Anyway here is the result of your guru program:
    about a minute ago ·

  • Mahamantra dasa testimony on bous gurus (ISKCON) ys pd

    [PADA: There was a Maha Mantra dasa who was living in Berkeley in the 1980s. He was arrested for buying plastic explosives (C-4) which were being stored at Hansadutta's farm, right next to a wood burning stove, where they were discovered when the police raided the farm. The police said had the C-4 had exploded "many people would have died." Mahamantra was given a lighter sentence in court because he "ratted out" the Hansadutta administration. Then he said he was afraid he would be "rubbed out" for "ratting them out." He also told me the FBI played tapes of the GBC gurus talking to each other on the phone, "Hey I'm sending 10 babes down there in a van to do the collecting pick, do not send people into the zone where they are collecting." He told me the FBI thought the Krishna religion was "being run like the MAFIA." I do not know if this is the same Mahamantra dasa. ys pd] 
    Direct Shelter BY: MAHA MANTRA DAS

    Apr 28, 2011 — PACIFICA California: When I visited my first ISKCON centre many years ago and began to show an interest in the Hare Krishna philosophy and lifestyle, I was welcomed in with open arms and congratulated on my willingness to break away. I was told how, contrary to popular belief, it was actually society at large who were doing the brainwashing. It was further explained that the Krishna's were not some dogmatic religion, and that the Movement was ‘calling-out' modern society for keeping the masses in darkness and oppressing people's rights to free-thought, free-speech. I was impressed with the courage and questioning/challenging spirit of the devotees. So it's nice to see that spirit alive and well in Dhira Prabhu's latest thoughtful article, and I'm sure my mum will be very pleased to know that I have not, in fact, joined some dangerous cult that muzzles it's members if they dare speak up.... right?

    As a newcomer to the temple, I was quickly introduced to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, even though he had physically left the world some 10 years prior. I was taught his pranams that I recited daily, shown how to offer my food to his picture, and encouraged to repose whatever love or devotion I had in His Divine Grace as my link to Lord Krishna.

    He became my ultimate shelter whenever my world fell apart, and I found I could take my worries and doubts to him and always felt tangible reciprocation. I read his books, heard his lectures from the tapes, and soon began dressing and caring for his murti in the temple. We offered Guru Puja and Vyasa Puja, chanted and danced, and worked hard on his behalf to spread Krishna Consciousness in many towns and villages under the guidance and authority of our inspiring temple president. Several happy years were passed in this way.

    Then one day I was informed that I would have to take initiation from an ISKCON Guru, and I was shown a list of names. I was told this person would become my new link to the bona fide Disciplic Succession - number 33 in a long line of pure devotees. And so it was with some difficulty that I redirected my love, devotion, and finances to this new man, whom I was told to worship "as good as God" in accordance with the philosophy enforced by the GBC.

    The days now passed with me standing before HDG Srila Prabhupada feeling somewhat confused when I sang about the mercy and grace of the spiritual master. I wondered if I really had implicit faith in this Guru I had been given, or if he had the power to answer my prayers through his picture, receive my bhoga offerings from the other side of the world, or bestow Krishna's mercy like rain? Was he the transparent-via-medium we had heard so much about, was he the ‘one' to take me back home?

    Then one day he left! He decided he wanted to do something else and so cut us all adrift. Years later he wrote explaining how he was never qualified to have taken that most crucial position in another's life! Some of his ex-disciples joined other groups (as did many whose gurus fell over the years), others stayed but became somewhat bitter and cynical, while still others gave up their spiritual lives altogether. The once tight global family of god-brothers and sisters was scattered to the four winds, kilo-tons of spiritual momentum and energy lost.

    Those of us who did remain were soon told by the authority of GBC to go back and take shelter of Srila Prabhupada, chant his pranams and offer our food, prayers, love, etc. to him. As distressing and bewildering as it all was at the time, I also felt somewhat relieved to be ‘allowed' back under the shelter of His Divine Grace, and wondered why someone had to be slotted between myself and this great Vaisnava whom I knew I could surrender and dedicate my life to. True there were many senior devotees who inspired, encouraged, or guided me over the years, but I felt full and honest surrender was something I was only willing and able to commit to His Divine Grace, Srila Prabhupada. Still I was happy and content to be back chanting before our beloved ISKCON Founder-Acarya. It felt like coming home.

    Then one day I was told - according to some new GBC ruling - that I must take re-initiation, and was shown a list. My heart sank. A few did take up the list and made their choice for another ‘33' (fingers crossed), and I know some sincere souls who have now lost as many as three gurus in the ‘pure-line' over the course of their devotion lifetime (anyone lost four?), as they try again and again to do right by the GBC.

    You have to wonder where those youthful years of hard work - and all those donations - went? Our local GBC assured us at the time of our guru's abandonment that we were not to worry, because Prabhupada had accepted our service all along. Again this begs the question: "Then why stick someone in the way, and why tell us they are pure if you don't actually know?" Or is it as others say, that we were never linked to the pure line due to the initiator's lack of spiritual qualification (this does not imply that they weren't nice devotees), and so we may not have actually been performing devotional service at all?

    There are still others who have remained serving in ISKCON over the years even after their ‘33s' fell away, and who have not been coerced into taking the questionable ‘re-initiation', but seem to be doing well serving under the Direct Shelter of the Founder-Acarya, our 32 in the line of pure devotees, Srila Prabhupada. That, no doubt, raises even more questions!

    So our thanks to Dhira Govinda Prabhu for keeping this important dialogue open and alive.

    Your servant,
    Maha Mantra das

    Thursday, April 28, 2011

    Vedic debates (ISKCON) ys pd

    PADA: During Vedic times debates were common, and the person who lost the debate had to accept the superior debater as his authority, because there was honesty and factual rules for debating. Nowadays that is not so common, so our technique has been to run a bunch of web sites and simply wait for sincere inquiries, not debaters. And this is working nicely. For example I have some nice devotees who go out of their temples daily to distribute books, and while they are out they skype me from an internet cafe. So the internet is providing a nice forum for discussion free from "mental masturbation" endless quarrels. We are getting sincere inquiries, and we get them on a regular basis. At the same time my South India friend told me that when a Gaudiya Matha guru invited me to his ashram and he left me sitting outside his room for 10 hours and cancelled our meeting four times, then he left the premises without talking to me, according to the rules of Vedic debates, I defeated this person because he could not answer even one of my questions. They told me, had this debate occured in South India, I would have been declared the superior debater without any debate taking place, because the person who decamps automatically loses, because that is the rule of the Vedic debate process. So these are some of the rules of debates we should try to investigate and promote, since it seems a lot of folks do not even know what the rules of an actual debate are. And if peope do not even know the process of debate, we may end up with useless quarrels. Agreed. ys pd

    Wednesday, April 27, 2011

    Srila Prabhupada is the link, period (ISKCON) ys pd

    Srila Prabhupada is 'The Link', Period


    Apr 26, 2011 — What if we never had Srila Prabhupada's physical presence or His books? In regards to the "prominent link", there would be no link. There would be no Hare Krsna movement, and none of his disciples would have been awoken from maya to Krsna consciousness. There would be little or no conception of "The Supreme Personality of Godhead", a phrase that Srila Prabhupada used in His books frequently, to say the least. Most of us searched in so many ways before coming to Srila Prabhupada, so what if He never came? No books to edit. No association of devotees, no movement to corrupt by taking high positions and then displaying extremely poor conduct, or in many cases criminal conduct.

    Srila Prabhupada is not the prominent link, He is The Link, period. Without Srila Prabhupada there is no link. That was actually the experience of all of Srila Prabhupada's directly initiated disciples. We searched everywhere, high and low, and found no shelter. We looked in university courses, we looked at spiritual movements and their teachers and found nothing satisfying.

    With Srila Prabhupada's books we can refer others to them, we can give or sell them so that others gain His association. So without Srila Prabhupada and His books, there is no prominent link and no links at all. There has been Moses of the old Testament, Jesus of the New, and Mohamed of the Koran, which one local preacher is busy burning in public. Then Srila Prabhupada came and told us about Lord Chaitanya, Lord Ramacandra and Lord Krsna. Need more? Well, Srila Prabhupada gave us lots more. Just read all His books.

    ISKCON does not seem to tell its newcomers to make sure they read all of Srila Prabhupada's books. I see them very impressed, reading some of Srila Prabhupada's disciples' books. Just think, if His disciples books are interesting, how potent must be Srila Prabhupada's books. Actually, His books are from an unlimited Source of unending transcendental knowledge. Srila Prabhupada enjoyed reading and hearing His own books read. He said that Krsna wrote them. How potent is that?

    As Govinda dasi has written, Srila Prabhupada's books, and any author's books should and usually are left alone, unedited, especially after the author has departed. If an author were living, they could sue and bring the matter to court. Historically, they have value, they have the author's personality, they are the author's work, his children if you will.

    There are laws about changing authors' books after they have passed on, but apparently the ISKCON authorities sidestepped these by naming Srila Prabhupada as a 'hired writer' for ISKCON. I wonder which lawyer thought this up for some cash? In this way, they made ISKCON superior to Srila Prabhupada. Isn't that ironic, and moronic, since Srila Prabhupada founded ISKCON. But of course, without Srila Prabhupada there would be no ISKCON, no books to change, no guru discussions, and no Lilamrita to read, discuss and or debate over its authenticity.

    So without Srila Prabhupada, the word 'link' and 'prominent link', becomes meaningless. Now only that Srila Prabhupada has come is there a link, and a prominent link. But it is safe to say that no one is on the spiritual level of Srila Prabhupada. That is my feeling and opinion. Some are advancing in devotional service because of having been given, and following instructions by Srila Prabhupada. So when the word 'link' is used, as in 'prominent link', we must all realize that there is a distinct difference in quality between the Prominent Link, Srila Prabhupada, and all the other links after Him. All the other links would have to have descended from the spiritual world (shaktavesa avatar), or be experiencing prema bhakti yoga continuously. The quality of the links, as distinct from the Prominent Link, cannot be expressed strongly enough. Dhira Govinda prabhu used the expression, 'the singular and plural gurus', singular referring to Srila Prabhupada, plural referring to those who link others to Srila Prabhupada. If someone else sees Srila Prabhupada in a lesser or smaller way, then that is their business.

    Lord Krsna does not interfere with Atheists, or agnostics, God and His material energy do. We all have the freedom to perceive God and life in general as we desire. As with the decent of Lord Jesus Christ, some believe it is all fairy tales. Of course, we all know that fairies exist, because Srila Prabhupada translated many Vedas for us. Srila Prabhupada referred to Jesus as Lord Jesus Christ. So I can also refer to Srila Prabhupada as Lord Srila Prabhupada, but it doesn't fit so well because Srila Prabhupada is a title used by many.

    I do place Srila Prabhupada on the highest level. Within His books we hear of so many devotees who have descended to the material world along with the Lord, as His entourage, they take birth here. Srila Prabhupada made, and is making everything clear to us.

    And what is the meaning of 'link' as in 'prominent link'? This type of link is meant to assist the individual to develop love for God. That is the real nature of this link, aside from the fact that the Srila Prabhupada link is used by people/devotees, for many reasons, some even forgetting the original purpose of the link of Srila Prabhupada. Once, meeting an assembly of devotees, the first thing Srila Prabhupada said was, "So how is your love for God coming along or developing?"

    We have noted that Dhira Govinda prabhu refers to other devotee as 'links', as maybe not being on the "absolute platform", i.e., not having fully developed love for God. So he is being kind by using the term maybe. The word link is good because yoga mean to yoke oneself to God, to link up, and so Srila Prabhupada is our prime source of connecting to the Lord.

    As Dhira Govinda prabhu points out about worshiping a picture of one's guru, if the guru does not actually have the spiritual potency to be present in the picture then in effect, the individual is sort of worshiping the plastic the picture is made of, which means useless worship. However, the individual's sincerity will make the difference, because God, being in our hearts, is directing us according to our sincere desires. However, there is also worship in the modes of passion, ignorance, goodness and their mixtures.

    What pains us is the sidelining of Srila Prabhupada within His movement, but as mentioned, there are those who see Srila Prabhupada as their opportunity to accomplish many things aside from devotional service, which is simply glorification of the Lord. Personally, I always consider how much austerity was performed by Hiranyakasipu in order to gain control over material nature. He even followed the four regulations. So each of us has our reasons for performing austerity, or what we call devotional service. Devotional dis-service comes to mind with some of ISKCON's previous leaders. Some of them are still in big positions today within ISKCON. What can I say about ISKCON's leaders in general and how I feel about them? I was used to having Srila Prabhupada being in charge when I joined. How can I pay allegiance to something less, or something else unless I have mixed motives for performing my devotional service?

    They may say ISKCON is Srila Prabhupada, but that is now very far-fetched. After spending a lot of money on the revised books, after spending more money on so many court cases having to do with changed books, the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, now apparently the BBT is again after 30 odd years, going to sell the original Bhagavad-gita As It Is by Srila Prabhupada, their salaried worker, because they are losing book sales to others who are selling the originals. But why they should care about money, they already lost so much in court battles.

    Saying that all Christian religions are promoting what Lord Jesus Christ was teaching is like saying that the GBC is non-different from Srila Prabhupada. The first set of 11 infamous zonal so-called acaryas, they were the GBC. They were same as Srila Prabhupada, His representatives? More like His anti-representatives. More like doing the best they could to destroy ISKCON, and alienate all Srila Prabhupada's disciples from ISKCON.

    As Srila Prabhupada said, the Christians, they mostly do not follow the first principle, 'thou shalt not kill'. I refer all interested parties to The Essene Gospel of Peace by His disciple John, as translated from the Aramic language spoken by Lord Jesus Himself back then, and translated by Dr. Edmond Szekely. In this one hour read, Lord Jesus explains very clearly how slaughtering and eating animals is an abomination in every sense. His description of what takes place in the human body is like a horror story.

    Alas, I cannot use my real name, which says more about present ISKCON politics. Srila Prabhupada gave me love, trust and a family, they took that away.

    Rama dasa

    Guru means -- chanting rounds? (ISKCON)

    PADA: Notice that Gaura Govinda maharaja was preaching that the qualification of guru is "chanting your rounds" (the minimum qualification of a neophytes). ys pd

    Martin A. Raghavendu Lewis
    ‎[A Remembrance from Madhavananda Das.]
    In America in 1993 a senior devotee came to see Gour Govinda Maharaja. He had a question. “Maharaja I’ve been preaching for a long time in this area, and some senior devotees are encouraging me to acc...ept disciples. I wasn’t actually thinking about doing it, as I’m not really qualified, but on the other hand it would encourage some of the people that I’ve been preaching to. So, my question for you is; what is the minimum qualification for being a guru?”

    Gour Govinda Maharaja smiled and said, “The minimum qualification is that when you chant japa, nothing else comes into your mind except for Krishna.”

    When he heard this, the devotee visibly chocked a little and said, “Um, uh that is a very high qualification. What is the minimum?

    Gour Govinda Maharaja, laughed and said, “This is the minimum. If you are not on that platform then you may fall down.”

    Tuesday, April 26, 2011

    Reply to the Shastric Advisory Committee (SAC) ISKCON

    The ISKCON Governing Body Commission’s (GBC) Sastric Advisory Committee (SAC) devoted extensive time to the study and critique of Srila Prabhupada: The Prominent Link (PL). I acknowledge and appreciate this. For several months in 2002, I corresponded with SAC members. This exchange enriched my understanding of the subject matter addressed in PL, as well as other topics connected with guru-tattva in Srila Prabhupada’s movement.

    The SAC wrote, “We can agree without hesitation that Srila Prabhupada is the most prominent link to the sampradaya for all of his followers,” and confirmed that Srila Prabhupada being the prominent link to the parampara “is something few will disagree with.” With regard to worship practices within ISKCON, the SAC has requested the GBC to define the range of acceptable practices, and has recognized the need for guidelines in other matters for devotees who understand their primary guru relationship to be with Srila Prabhupada.

    [PADA: Right, after making 230 gurus and having most of them deviate, run off to the Gaudiya Matha, bloop, fall down, get arrested, become "engaged in illicit sex with men, women and children" (as Jayadaita says has been going on) etc. its pretty obvious that the real link is Srila Prabhupada and not this never ending treadmill of debauchery, apasiddhanta etc.]

    Further, in connection with the Terms of Relegation section of PL, the SAC has suggested “changing the wording of the GBC statement to eliminate the words ‘can’ and ‘may’. This step would establish what we understand to be the GBC’s position that having Prabhupada as one’s prominent guru is equally acceptable to any other situation.” In these and other ways, the SAC has grasped the spirit and intention of PL.

    This article will address some points that hopefully will assist in further elucidating Srila Prabhupada’s relationship to those who contact his movement. These points include Srila Prabhupada’s presence in his vani and murti, initiation as a process, understandings of the term diksa, and Srila Prabhupada as our medium to understand previous acaryas.

    The Initiation Process: Srila Prabhupada The Prominent Link asserts that the most essential aspect of the process of initiation is the delivery of divya-jnana, transcendental knowledge, from the spiritual master to the disciple. “Initiation means receiving the pure knowledge of spiritual consciousness” (CC Madhya 9:63 Purport). Understanding this clarifies Srila Prabhupada’s role and relationship with the members of his movement.

    The formal initiation ceremony is an important, transcendental component of the process of initiation. However, it is not the most fundamental element of initiation. Srila Prabhupada stated, “From 1922 to 1933 practically I was not initiated, but I got the impression of preaching Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s cult. . . . And that was the initiation by my Guru Maharaja. Then officially I was initiated in 1933 . . .” (Lecture in Hyderabad, Dec. 10, 1970).

    Our disciplic succession, as delineated by Srila Prabhupada, is characterized by transmission of divya-jnana. On the first page of an earlier edition of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Srila Prabhupada even uses the term “initiated” to describe parampara relationships where no formal initiation ceremony occurred. “Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura accepted Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji, who initiated Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who in turn initiated Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji.” (CC Adi, Page 1).
    In the new edition of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta the words “initiated” in the above excerpt are deleted. According to a representative from the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, the main reason for this book change is that Srila Prabhupada’s usage of the term implies something other than the usage of the term “as we know it in ISKCON”. This, I believe, reflects a consciousness that may prevent fresh, unfiltered study of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions, free from unexamined and perhaps unfounded assumptions that may have entered ISKCON and become part of its culture.

    Srila Prabhupada: The Prominent Link devotes a chapter and an appendix to the above discussion. The paper of the Sastric Advisory Committee (SAC) did not address this change of Srila Prabhupada’s words, the import and impact of that change, and the ramifications of that modification on the ethos of the organization and its members. I believe it would be fruitful for the GBC, through the SAC or otherwise, straightforwardly to discuss this topic.

    In discussions about the process of initiation, Srila Prabhupada sometimes refers to the essential aspect of initiation, as on the first page of Sri-Caitanya-caritamrta, and sometimes to the formal ceremony of initiation. In the purport to Madhya-lila 15:111, for example, Srila Prabhupada employs both usages. When he writes, “An advanced devotee should respect a person who has been initiated by a bona fide spiritual master and who is situated on the transcendental platform,” he refers to the essence of the process.

    When Srila Prabhupada writes, “Whether a Vaisnava is properly initiated or not is not a subject for consideration. One may be initiated and yet contaminated by the Mayavada philosophy,” he refers to the official ceremony. The SAC contests the claim that transmission of transcendental knowledge is the essence of the process of initiation. In correspondence with the SAC, I wrote that initiation is a process ordained by Sri Krsna, and that the initiation ceremony is a part of that process. I concluded, “[The official ceremony] contains transcendental potency. Still, it is not the most essential aspect of the process of initiation.”

    A SAC member replied, “You are wrong about that.” The SAC’s paper describes divya-jnana as a “secondary characteristic” of the initiation process. The disciplic succession as established by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati’s song Sri Guru Parampara and Srila Prabhupada’s list at the end of the Introduction to Bhagavad-gita As It Is, describes a parampara based upon spiritual teachers giving spiritual knowledge to disciples, just as Sri Krsna describes in the Fourth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita. In Bhagavad-gita (4:34) the word upadeksyanti means “they will initiate”, and this process of initiation consists of imparting spiritual knowledge.

    Similarly, Sri Krsna opens Chapter Four by declaring “I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvan, and Vivasvan instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Iksvaku.” Revealing divya-jnana to the student, rather than any formal element of the process, is the essence of the disciplic succession.

    I suggest that the SAC’s focus on the formal ceremony of initiation at the possible expense of realizing the primary role of delivery of transcendental knowledge, is a legitimate cause for concern, especially in light of the damage caused in recent decades by over-emphasis on the formalities of initiation.
    Srila Prabhupada presented a disciplic succession grounded in the essential principles of Krsna consciousness. We need to adjust the imbalance that has arisen since his disappearance to avoid degeneration to a hollow, ritualistic religion.

    As part of its response to the section of PL entitled “Srila Prabhupada is Qualified to be Worshipped”, the SAC wrote: “We do not make formal offerings to Sukadeva in our regular puja because he is not in the line of initiators of the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya sampradaya. The diksa-guru of a properly initiated devotee in ISKCON, however, is the immediate link in the diksa-parampara for his disciple.”
    This seems to imply that being in the line of formal initiators is the criterion for being formally worshipped, in ways such as pictures on the altar and pranam mantras, in Srila Prabhupada’s movement.

    If we consider, however, the altar that Srila Prabhupada gave us, and the way he defined the parampara, we see that worship is not based on performance of initiation ceremonies. I cite the above example from the SAC paper as an instance where the organizational culture of accentuating the ceremonial aspects of the initiation process may cloud our understanding of the legacy that Srila Prabhupada has given. Srila Prabhupada did not emphasize the diksa-parampara. PL mentions Sukadeva Goswami to illustrate that lack of formal worship for a Vaisnava does not indicate neglect or disrespect.

    As another instance of supposition that has perhaps been insufficiently questioned influencing the organizational culture, the SAC wrote, “Since this is the formal pancaratrika method, the guru who is given the offering first is normally the pancaratrika diksa-guru. There may be exceptions; the guru-parampara given to us by Srila Prabhupada for worship in ISKCON, for example, includes Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s siksa-guru, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji, rather than his diksa-guru. Nonetheless, offering puja first to one’s diksa-guru is the norm practiced in all Vaisnava sampradayas.”
    This apparently suggests that it is an exception for links in the parampara not to include a relationship involving a formal initiation ceremony. From the time of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, however, most of the disciplic succession connections do not involve formal initiation. Thus, what we have come to accept in ISKCON as the “standard” parampara system is perhaps not actually standard.

    Definitions of Diksa: Srila Prabhupada: The Prominent Link maintains that Srila Prabhupada is the direct link to the parampara for devotees who receive direct spiritual knowledge primarily from him. “Direct link” in the above sentence is defined as “the Vaisnava who directly gives transcendental knowledge more than any other devotee.” This definition is consistent with the criterion by which Srila Prabhupada delineates the parampara in Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

    This definition of the direct and primary link to the disciplic succession is not dependent on any particular definition of diksa. Whatever one’s definition of diksa, Srila Prabhupada is the main and predominant connection to the disciplic succession for those who receive spiritual knowledge primarily from him.

    That said, PL presents various perspectives on the term diksa, directly based on Srila Prabhupada’s teachings. This is included in PL because there has been too much emphasis in the organization on the understanding of diksa as a formal ceremony. By presenting several quotes from Srila Prabhupada illustrating that diksa is a process for awakening transcendental knowledge, we hope to broaden the perspective of devotees and to inspire deep thought on the significance of spiritual life. Simultaneously, such alternative perspectives can be helpful in providing a synthesis for resolving ingrained conflicts amongst Srila Prabhupada’s sincere followers.

    Srila Prabhupada writes, “Diksa is the process by which one can awaken his transcendental knowledge and vanquish all reactions caused by sinful activity.” (CC Madhya 15.108 Purport). In the purport to Madhya-lila, 4.111, Srila Prabhupada states, “Diksa actually means initiating a disciple with transcendental knowledge by which he becomes freed from all material contamination.” Srila Prabhupada’s statements in the quotations above are, we believe, unambiguous, not requiring interpretation.

    The SAC paper quotes PL as follows: Srila Prabhupada described initiation as a process, with the essence of this process being the delivery of divya-jnana, or transcendental knowledge, from the spiritual master to the disciple. . . . Initiation, as described above, is a process. Components of this process include receiving and implementing the instructions to wear kanthi mala and Vaisnava tilaka, and receiving a Vaisnava name. The most essential aspect of initiation is receiving transcendental knowledge from a realized spiritual master. [excerpt from PL quoted in SAC paper].

    The SAC paper then provides several pages of analysis on the quotes from the Madhya-lila references above, concluding with the paragraph that begins with the sentence, “Of course, the properly observed vows of initiation do lead to the gain of spiritual knowledge and defeat of ignorance, but these are secondary characteristics.”

    In that section the SAC cites authorities such as Sanatana Gosvami, Narahari Sarakara, and Jiva Gosvami. As a general principle we refer to Srila Prabhupada to understand previous acaryas, not vice versa. We suggest that Srila Prabhupada’s meaning in the cited purports of Madhya-lila are clear, and do not demand reference elsewhere for understanding. The SAC’s linguistic analysis of the Goswamis’ literature may justify a reminder cited in the SAC paper. “The original purpose of the text must be maintained. No obscure meaning should be screwed out of it.” (Bhag. 1:4:1 Purport).

    Srila Prabhupada is Living and Present: Transmission of divya-jnana, and not physical presence, is the defining characteristic of the parampara. “Although a physical body is not present, the vibration should be accepted as the presence of the spiritual master.” (Lecture by Srila Prabhupada, January 13, 1969). As a present and living guru, Srila Prabhupada is fully capable to perform the functions of the direct link to the parampara for his followers, regardless of when they received formal initiation.
    This does not minimize the important roles played by Srila Prabhupada’s followers in helping others to connect with him.

    The SAC also accepts that Srila Prabhupada can be considered the direct and current link to the disciplic succession, though qualifying: “This makes sense if we understand ‘current and direct link’ to mean the universal, permanent Siksa-guru of ISKCON.” Considering the defining characteristic of the parampara, Srila Prabhupada should be considered the current and direct link to the disciplic succession, without qualifying terms, by all who directly receive transcendental knowledge primarily from him.

    The SAC wrote, “If there can only be one guru in ISKCON, and he cannot be categorized as guru in any specific sense, then yes, we should choose Srila Prabhupada.” The understanding of Srila Prabhupada as the guru, the spiritual master referred to when members of his movement refer to the singular spiritual master, has been obscured for many in ISKCON. When Srila Prabhupada writes, “Lord Krsna originally made Vivasvan His first disciple” (BG 4:1 Purport), we accept simply that Lord Krsna was Vivasvan’s spiritual master. Our natural response is not to attempt to demarcate the limits of how and in what sense Lord Krsna is Vivasvan’s spiritual master.

    Similarly, with the listing of gurus in the parampara, it is not Srila Prabhupada’s mood to be chiefly concerned with whether the preceding guru is the guru of the successive spiritual master in terms of diksa, siksa, pancaratrika marga or bhagavata marga. He lists gurus in terms of the most prominent spiritual master in the disciple’s life.

    In that sense it is imperative that we educate all who contact Srila Prabhupada’s movement that he is, or at least is available to be, their most prominent guru. This does not negate the fact that there are other spiritual teachers, as there were in the era of Vivasvan and in all ages. From our perspective, the tenor of the SAC paper overly accentuates terms and concepts, such as siksa-guru, diksa-guru and pancaratrika, at the expense of focusing on Srila Prabhupada’s primacy as the main guru who is personally available for members of his movement.

    In listing the disciplic succession in Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Srila Prabhupada did not qualify Srila Narottama das Thakur’s relationship with Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Goswami, or Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji’s relationship with Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur. If asked who is the link to the disciplic succession for Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur, we reply “Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji”, without need to explain that Jagannatha dasa Babaji is only a certain type of guru for Srila Bhaktivinode. Such explanations of varieties of gurus and different margas of devotional service may be helpful in some circumstances. However, such discussions should not obscure the plain understanding of Srila Prabhupada as the primary guru and main link to the parampara.

    Srila Prabhupada, as a living, eternal spiritual master, is the guru in whom implicit faith must exist in order for the imports of Vedic knowledge to be revealed to the disciple. The disciple naturally will have other teachers, including the Vaisnava who conducts the initiation ceremony, whom he reveres and profoundly respects. He might not, however, have implicit, unconditional faith in these instructors.
    He may consider one or more of them infallible, on the absolute platform of realization, but that is not necessary. It is essential that a devotee have at least one guru in whom such implicit faith exists. Srila Prabhupada is fully capable to fulfill that role for all who take shelter in his movement.

    Similarly, Srila Prabhupada is the primary guru in the sense that, without his mercy, members of his movement could not advance in Krsna consciousness. Thus, he is the spiritual master described in the verse, “By the mercy of the spiritual master one receives the benediction of Krsna. Without the grace of the spiritual master, one cannot make any advancement.”

    We have each received the mercy of many Vaisnavas. Some from whom we have received mercy and blessings are, for whatever reason, no longer active and present in our lives, and some may even have left the practice of Vaisnavism. Still, we are able to receive the benediction of Krsna because Srila Prabhupada’s mercy is constantly available. This is another sense in which Srila Prabhupada, in a personal and living way, is the main spiritual master, in the most important sense of the term, for devotees in his mission.

    Srila Prabhupada, as the spiritual master without whose mercy we do not receive the benediction of Krsna, the guru in whom we must have implicit faith, and the direct and prominent connection to the disciplic succession, is delivering his followers from material bondage, regardless of when they received formal initiation. To accomplish this necessitates that he is living and present.
    He is present in his vani, and in his murti form. We believe that realization of the tenets of PL follows naturally from understanding his presence in these forms. The SAC wrote “[Srila Prabhupada] is alive in his instructions, in his murti. . . .” Still, we’re not clear about their certainty on this point.
    In correspondence between the SAC and this author, one SAC member quoted PL:

    Just as Sri Krsna, Srimati Radharani, and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu are non-different from Their Deity forms, and are fully capable to act and relate in Their Deity forms, the murtis and pictures of the parampara acaryas, such as Srila Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, can similarly act non-differently from the acaryas. Obviously this requires special empowerment from the Supreme Lord. Ordinary persons, or even aspiring Vaisnavas, are not able to reciprocate in their picture form in the way that the great acaryas do. [excerpt from PL quoted by a member of the SAC in his correspondence with this author]. The SAC member replied, “This is a novel theory, or at least one I am not familiar with, that the murtis and pictures of specially empowered acaryas are equally potent to the murtis of the Supreme Lord and His internal potency, while the images of less empowered Vaisnavas are impotent.
    The arca-murti of the Personality of Godhead is a special incarnation, nondifferent from His original self, and manifests all His potencies to those who worship Him with love. The murti or picture of one’s guru is recognized as the proper place to make offerings in worship, but as far as I know the Vaisnava sastras do not identify the guru’s image as the same kind of arca-murti.”

    Many followers of Srila Prabhupada, including this author, believe that Srila Prabhupada is fully living and present in his murti form. It is important that the GBC and SAC clarify this issue for themselves and members of ISKCON. We receive transcendental knowledge through sound. Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.26.33) states, “Persons who are learned and who have true knowledge define sound as that which conveys the idea of an object, indicates the presence of a speaker screened from our view and constitutes the subtle form of ether.”

    Srila Prabhupada is present, though he is screened from our view, just as Lord Sri Krsna was screened from the view of Lord Brahma. Sri Krsna initiated Brahma with sound. Through transcendental service Brahma could perceive Krsna. Knowledge given by Srila Prabhupada is apaurusa, “not spoken by any person materially created” (Bhag. 3.26.33 Purport). Srila Prabhupada, though screened from view due to our limitations, gives transcendental knowledge, just as Sri Krsna delivered spiritual truth to Brahma at the beginning of our disciplic succession.

    Thus, this understanding of the parampara, based on transcendental sound, and not on the formal initiation ceremony, exists from the start of the parampara. A person contacts Srila Prabhupada’s movement and primarily hears from him, and therefore Srila Prabhupada is his direct link to the disciplic succession. In correspondence, SAC members would refer to Srila Prabhupada as a “previous acarya”, a term with which this author is not comfortable in reference to Srila Prabhupada. We maintain that Srila Prabhupada is living in his instructions and murti form, and is a present acarya.
    Even with regard to the concept of “physical presence”, we’re not sure that we can support the SAC’s contention that “he is not physically present.” Srila Prabhupada installed his murti before his disappearance, and it will be valuable to consider the meaning of that action in terms of Srila Prabhupada’s physical presence.

    Clarification of PL Principles and Dialogue with SAC: We would like to clarify some points in PL that may not have been accurately represented in the SAC’s paper. The Prologue to the Second Printing of PL explains that the principles of serving, honoring, and glorifying Vaisnavas, including the devotee who conducts the initiation ceremony, are presented about twenty times in the PL essay.

    “Still,” the Prologue continues, “some readers perceived that this point was not sufficiently emphasized in the essay, or even that the PL model is opposed to these principles. Herein we reiterate the essentiality for devotees in Srila Prabhupada’s movement to submissively and cooperatively serve other devotees, and to learn from and take shelter in senior and advanced devotees. These principles are completely consistent with accepting Srila Prabhupada as the prominent link to the disciplic succession.”

    In some places the SAC paper gives an impression that PL is averse to respecting and venerating Vaisnavas other than Srila Prabhupada. The SAC states that the initiator should be allowed the honor of being considered one’s guru. This is clearly stated in PL, though PL also emphasizes that Srila Prabhupada is, for many and perhaps most members of his movement, the main guru, directly, and this must be recognized. The SAC paper states that ISKCON gurus deserve “the respect of his disciples”, apparently implying that PL opposes this idea. A reader of PL can ascertain that PL fully supports this concept. The SAC writes, “Whatever may have been the actual relationship between Srila Bhaktivinoda and his diksa-guru (and we hear different stories about this from different sources), it is known that Srila Bhaktivinoda never behaved disrespectfully toward him.” This seems to imply that PL advocates disrespectful behavior, which it doesn’t.

    The SAC rhetorically asks, “If we think Srila Prabhupada cannot empower his disciples despite their imperfections, how strong is our faith in him?” Obviously Srila Prabhupada is empowering his followers in amazing ways. This is consistent with the principles in PL. In correspondence with the SAC, this author wrote, “I, and probably each of us, have many gurus, in the sense of devotees who have inspired and guided us in Krsna consciousness. Srila Prabhupada is not my only guru, although, as described in Srila Prabhupada: The Prominent Link, if I had to identify one person as my main spiritual master, that would certainly be Srila Prabhupada.”

    On the same topic of plurality of spiritual teachers, I expressed to the SAC, There is the telescope analogy, wherein we understand that, just as the more finely crafted lenses possessed by a telescope, the more our eye has a direct relationship with the stellar bodies, so similarly, the more transparent servants between us and Krsna or the spiritual master, the more our direct relationship with Krsna and the spiritual master is enhanced. We all accept this important point about the acintya-bheda-bheda-tattva mystery of the disciplic succession.

    Still, there is another point about our direct relationship with Srila Prabhupada. That is, all members of Srila Prabhupada’s movement have, or should have, a direct relationship with him not mediated by other followers of Srila Prabhupada. That direct relationship is the prime focus of PL. This is not to minimize the extent to which the direct relationship with Srila Prabhupada is enriched and enhanced through the process of serving the servants of Srila Prabhupada. But there is also the unmediated direct relationship, and PL proposes that that unmediated direct relationship is for many, including those who did not receive formal initiation from Srila Prabhupada, the most prime and essential unmediated direct relationship in their spiritual life.

    The SAC article states: “Dhira Govinda Prabhu himself is in the position of having received his initiations after Srila Prabhupada’s departure. When asked by a SAC member to identify his one diksa-guru, Dhira Govinda Prabhu said that if he were to answer according to the PL understanding, he would have to say that Srila Prabhupada was his one diksa-guru.” What I wrote to the SAC is: “If initiator is defined in terms of the conductor of the first initiation ceremony, then my initiator is Bhagavan Prabhu. If initiator is defined in terms of the conductor of the second initiation ceremony, then my initiator is Danavir Maharaja. If initiator is defined in terms of the prime giver of transcendental knowledge (as Srila Prabhupada uses the term on the first page of the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta), then my initiator is Srila Prabhupada. Whatever definition you are comfortable with, that’s okay with me (not that acceptance by me need be relevant for any of the recipients of this posting). . . . The assertions in the essay are not dependent on this discussion of terminology, which isn’t to say that this discussion of terminology isn’t important (it is important).”

    Many concepts in this response article, about which readers may have questions, are addressed in Srila Prabhupada: The Prominent Link, especially in the Questions and Answers chapter. Issues addressed include: Pure devotees in Srila Prabhupada’s movement; discussion of how initiates will practically conduct their spiritual life in the PL model; the question of acceptance of acaryas such as Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura as the direct link to the parampara; and the topic of “Whose disciples are they?”

    After the GBC meetings in 2002 I contacted the Chairman of the SAC, as the GBC requested. In Vrndavana we had a friendly conversation and touched on some of the points in PL. He said that the SAC would contact me when they were ready to discuss PL in detail. That took a few months, and, in July 2002, the SAC and I began email correspondence. We corresponded for more than three months.
    After completing the day’s Vaisnava Life Skills course that I was teaching in Radhadesa (Belgium) in early November 2002, a member of the GBC phoned. He had heard that I was planning to publish a second printing of PL. He asked whether it would be acceptable for me if I included the full correspondence between the SAC and I in that second printing. He was under the impression that the SAC would likely agree to this. I readily agreed, though I cautioned him I was doubtful that the SAC would consent.

    When I returned to Alachua a few days later, I received correspondence from this GBC member and the SAC Chairman, confirming that the SAC wanted to keep our correspondence confidential and did not want it available to the devotee public. I remain eager for that correspondence to be made available, and for anything I’ve written therein to be scrutinized.

    Regarding my cooperation with the SAC, I wrote to them on August 31, 2002:
    I am appreciating and absorbing the comments and reflections of the members of the SAC, and, whatever further realizations you have to share, I’ll be glad to hear and study. If the SAC would like me to contribute to some paper (probably primarily exploratory rather than conclusive) in collaboration with the committee members, that sounds like a productive, albeit long-term, project. For the more immediate future perhaps the SAC can make some specific recommendations and proposals to the GBC, based on our discussions. I’ll help out with this if you’d like.

    I remain open and enthusiastic to hear from and discuss with Vaisnavas, including members of the SAC, about elements in PL, as well as other topics of interest to them.

    Conclusion: When a person contacts Srila Prabhupada’s movement, he has found a spiritual master. He doesn’t need to continue looking for a guru, in the sense of the guru who is his primary link to the parampara and main inspiration in spiritual life. By establishing a connection with Srila Prabhupada he has linked with a bona fide spiritual master on the absolute platform in whom he can place unconditional faith and to whom he can securely and completely surrender and render service.
    Naturally, during the course of his devotional life, other Vaisnavas will inspire, guide and teach him. The relationships with and depth of faith in these devotees will be varied, though all will be characterized by respect and gratitude. The formal initiation ceremony is a transcendental event that officially acknowledges that the initiate has already connected with the parampara via a direct service relationship with Srila Prabhupada.

    That relationship does not become indirect at the time of the official initiation, though of course the initiate’s connection with Srila Prabhupada will continually be enriched by the mentoring of many devotees. We suggest that throughout Srila Prabhupada’s movement initiations based on the understanding that Srila Prabhupada is the direct link to the disciplic succession for the initiate be made available. YS Dhira govinda dasa.

    ISKCON drifting into ritvik? by Martin Raghavendu (ys pd)

    Martin A. Raghavendu Lewis
    According to the GBC in a "Statement" on February 28, 2011 Re: the case of Umapati Dasa, "ISKCON will not recognize initiations given by Umapati Dasa after February 2010. Devotees initiated prior to this date are accepted as duly initiated... members of ISKCON." So if an Iskcon guru is in a position of being completely removed from the post of guru, the GBC now considers that the initiations that he gave while in good standing are empowered by the GBC to make one a "duly initiated members of ISKCON." If this is not a form of Rtvik then I don't know what is? During Srila Prabhupada's manifest lila a "member of Iskcon" was someone who was his active disciple or an active aspiring disciple (not yet initiated). By active I mean one who is attempting to follow the regulative principles, attempting to chant their rounds and attempting to perform devotional service. So at that time the essential factor in being one of the "members" of Iskcon was discipleship in relation to the Acarya, guru and divine person, Srila Prabhupada. Now according to the GBC, membership status in Iskcon is completely separate from discipleship in relation to a person who is an initiating guru; Rather the key element has become discipleship in relation to Iskcon which is governed by the GBC. I have said for years that Iskcon has actually become "Soft Rtvik", but now it appears to be moving at least to the position of "Medium Rtvik." I would define the Rtvik Movement as Hard Rtvik. Yet considering the GBC's Statement Re: Umapati Dasa I am wondering about what is the real difference between the now Medium Rtvik stance of the GBC and the Hard Rtvik position of the Rtvik Movement?
    Well, here you go. The GBC is essentially saying that an Iskcon guru in good standing or deceased is a “regular guru” whereas a guru who is deemed officially fallen was retroactively a defacto Rtvik priest. But unto whom was disciple being linked to by the retroactive defacto Rtvik Priest? Was it the GBC? But the collect GBC body is not a guru? In its ideal state the GBC would represent Srila Prabhupada and in its ideal state the Society (Iskcon) would be Srila Prabhupada's body. Therefore the only logical conclusion is that the officially fallen guru (deemed so by the GBC) was retroactively a Rtvik for Srila Prabhupada, ACCORDING TO THE GBC. So it is obvious that the GBC is moving for better or worse to some kind of Rtvik conclusion. So why are Iskcon loyalists like Yuga Avatar so hostile to the ideas put forth by persons such as Satvatas Dasa? The Iskcon loyalists accept the GBC not only as the supreme managing authority in Iskcon but as some kind of collective manifestation of Srila Prabhupada. So if the GBC goes completely Rtvik they will follow. So the Rtvik idea is no longer the cause of the conflict, but rather the apparent fact that the GBC does not presently accept the Hard Rtivk position. The GBC may be coming closer and closer to a true Rtvik position but at present there is what amounts to a two tier, absurd system where Iskcon gurus in good standing are “regular gurus” accepting guru puja etc, and officially fallen gurus are defacto retroactive Rtviks. If the members of Iskcon are not too dumbed down there is always the chance that they will see how the GBC's position is drifting towards true Rtvik for Iskcon. I wouldn't hold my breath.

    Sunday, April 24, 2011

    Umapati swami removed for homosexual behavior (ISKCON)

    He is the guy dressed in orange in the center of these three. ys pd 

    Ritvik conversations update (ISKCON) ys pd

  • Chandra Shaker
    ‎@Nandini Radhe..Srila Prabhupada writes in Bhagavad-gita As It Is that, “The process of speaking in spiritual circles is to say something upheld by authority. One should at once quote from scriptural authority to back up what he is saying....” The scriptures have authority, and so too does the acharya. Therefore what we say gains strength when we can quote scripture or legitimately uphold our statements with the words “Prabhupada said.”See More
    2 hours ago ·

  • Chandra Shaker Not just talk nonscence..I think..this and i think that.
    2 hours ago ·

  • Chaintanya Prabhu yes chandra and when i observed abhyas posts here they were posting and copying an pasting the scriptual posts of authority while madhaananda found fault an critised this but this is what we will find amongst these types of individuals they donot like people exsposing the truth but the truth of prabhupadas ritvik order will prevail.

  • Chandra Shaker
    Srila Prabhupada in his commentary to Srimad Bhagavatam 4.28.47 says, "The disciple and spiritual master are never separated, because the spiritual master always keeps company with the disciple as long as the disciple follows strictly the i...nstructions of the spiritual master. This is called the association of vani (words). Physical presence is called vapuh. As long as the spiritual master is physically present, the disciple should serve the physical body of the spiritual master, and when the spiritual master is no longer physically existing, the disciple should serve the instructions of the spiritual master."See More
    2 hours ago · · 1 personLoading...